I had a great time seeing music yesterday evening at Shelburne Farms. After a very long six day work week, it was nice to have Wednesday off, and it was even nicer that Swale were playing from 6:30-8. I got going around 5:30 and took the short drive to Shelburne. I got in and settled around 6 and bought a burger for dinner. I finished up, said hi to Daniel Bolles, saw the new born calfs and goats then headed back to the stage. They were set up in one of the corners of the Farm Barn courtyard and half a moon hung in a baby blue sky, occasionally eclipsed by white puffy clouds. At 6:35 they opened with the new song about having skin in the game and cause and effect and it being a matter of time. They played it on the mellow side as the mostly full lawn was filled with people on picnic blankets and kids running around. They followed with a mellow version of Cancer then had the kids come up and get Hear More Swale stickers. By the end of the night almost all of the kids, and several of the parents were covered with the stickers. Swale are such excellent marketers. They amped it up a little with a solid You Are Not The Photograph. A gorgeous version of Soul Piggy Bank followed then they showed us how to do it Old School. Up next they pulled out a cover that I’ve been dying to hear them do again, ever since they played it at the Pants show. They dedicated Both Eyes Closed to Tom Lawson and the lyrics nearly broke my heart. It was just as tremendous as the first time I saw them play it. They cheered things up with the bouncy Waiting For You, then played the super catchy new song that may or may not be called Loser. A beautiful version of If You Get Lost followed then they closed the first set with a couple of new ones, the latter of which was Release Your Records. They said they were going to take a quick break, then play until 8:30. Woo hoo, the stickers were coming true. I would get to hear more Swale.
They returned to the stage at 7:50 to play the rocking set. Joyless started a little slow but rocked hard by the end. They kept the energy high with Popular Crowd and Edible and the kids responded the the higher energy by dancing wildly in front of the stage and running fast around the courtyard. Eric Olsen modified the lyrics to Everyone Likes To, you know, cut the shark and too many jackals trying to get in, and things like that, but the song energy was as high as always. Amanda Gustafson left the keys and went into the audience to sing Rebel Girl and was running around the group of kids at the front of the stage. It was a sight to behold and she always made it back to the microphone to sing her lines. Amanda stayed with the kids to rock out to Jack Sharp then returned to the keys as they slowed things down with Beaten Down. All night long Tyler Bolles kept the songs moving nicely with his bass and lovely backing vocals. He has added a dynamic edge to the band both in the mellower songs and the rocking ones. They followed with a mellow and charming version of Middlesex. Good Medicine was next and it started super mellow but ended with a towering Eric Olsen guitar solo. A cover of Black Boys On Mopeds was riveting then they began the slow build of We Can All Bet That Way. All night long Jeremy Frederick‘s singing and drumming had been spectacular but he really went off as the song builds and builds and builds and the mantra title line repeats over and over. It’s always magic when they play that song. It was getting dark as they played and when it was done, so was the show. It was 8:37 so I walked back to the car and took the short drive home. What a perfect evening, I’m glad I spent it with Swale.